Kansas Air Tour Stops in Rooks County

Kansas Air Tour Stops in Rooks County Main Photo

14 Oct 2016

Tourism, Education

The 2016 version of the Kansas Air Tour made a stop at Rooks County Regional Airport (RCP) on Thursday, September 29.  Nearly 30 planes made trip from Great Bend to RCP, which was the second leg on the first day of the three-day event.  The planes began arriving at around 1:15 p.m. and began departing at 2:30 p.m. to leave for their overnight stay in Dodge City.   Other stops on the tour included Scott City, Colby, Salina, Topeka, and Newton.  The tour began in Wellington.

The purpose of the tour is educational, and over 150 elementary students from all of the Rooks County schools and a few from Ellis County enjoyed watching the planes arrive and depart.  The students were given the opportunity to talk with the pilots and even get inside some of the planes. 

Economic Development Director Roger Hrabe stated that many of the students are still talking about their experience.  “I had a number of parents tell me later in the day that their child was still excited about the day and all they learned” Hrabe stated.  “The pilots were also very appreciative and had fun day.”

Before talking to the pilots, the students were given the opportunity to ask questions of Dr. Dan Sanchez from Rooks County Health Center about the importance that aviation and the airport have in the day-to-day operation of the hospital.  Jonathan Berkley from Solutions North Bank in Stockton echoed those comments when he spoke about the importance of using the airport to reach the multiple bank locations of SNB. 

Merrill Atwater, Director of Aviation for the Kansas Department of Transportation addressed the students about how important aviation is to the state of Kansas and thanked them all for coming.

The fly-in was also a big treat for over 100 adults that took the time to come out to the airport.  The pilots took time to visit with many of the spectators and give them information about the planes themselves.   Many people were especially interested in the WW2 trainer (51) that was used to train pilots during the war.

Upon departing, all of the students and pilots were given a gift bag to remember their visit.  Thank you to the sponsors who made that possible:  Rooks County Economic Development, Rooks County Health Center, Solutions North Bank, Nex-Tech, Rooks County Airport Commission, and the Rooks County Commission.